The final category of cause mentioned by Caraka are the exogenous factors. These factors translate from Ayurveda to genetic susceptibilities, and the factors that can exacerbate genetic weaknesses are many. Each individual body type may be triggered into an ADD response by a variety of the previously mentioned factors (TV, sugar, lifestyle, and toxicity). There will probably not be one cause for every case of ADD. Each individual must be treated as an individual and offered a unique and tailored package of therapies for his or her condition.
One factor that has been overlooked by researchers when looking into dietary factors is the ingestion of growth hormones. Growth hormones are stimulants injected into animals to increase growth rates, and there have not been any long-term studies on the effects and use of these hormones. However, in vegetarian societies such as India, ADD is relatively unknown. In America, on the other hand, where the diet includes large amounts of red meats, poultry, and milk, ADD has become prevalent. The consumption of hormone-free meats, eggs, and milk, or a vegetarian diet, should be examined as potential treatment and prevention.
In the case of all the above described causes of ADD, the underlying factor is a deficiency of Prana, or Energy, in the body. This may not seem the case as kids are jumping off walls and displaying hyperkinetic behavior. It appears that they have too much energy and need to be settled down. In Ayurveda this apparent excess in energy is caused by a lack of Prana (energy that controls vata) which must be sufficient to naturally calm the nervous system. Without sufficient prana, the nervous system can run out of control and lead to ADD symptoms. A similar phenomenon is seen with insomnia, a symptom of prana depletion. Insomniacs actually need more energy or prana to settle their own nervous system. A sedative could actually further deplete the patient. Ritalin, the common Western drug for ADD, is a stimulant drug that seems to work well for the symptoms of ADD, possibly for the same -reasons.
In a situation when all three doshas seem to be out of balance and the symptoms indicate that a lack of prana vata is present, the treatment protocol should be strengthening and building.
• Remove all chemicals and preservatives from the diet.
• Eat organic meats and foods whenever possible.
• Incorporate the following formulas:
Formula for Nervous System Dysfunction and Depletion:
Soak 3 unpeeled almonds overnight in a glass of water with one whole black pepper and one teaspoon fennel seeds. In the morning, remove the skins from the almonds and crush all three ingredients into a paste. Add equal parts sweet butter and honey to taste. Take this first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and do not eat for 1 1⁄2 hours afterwards. Continue every morning for 15 days.
Formula to Rejuvenate and Detoxify the Nervous System through Synergistic, Free Radical Scavenging Effects:
Equal parts Brahmi, Ashwagandha, and Gudduchi. Take 1 teaspoon of the combination 2 times a day with hot water or with ghee and honey to make a paste.
Formula to Strengthen and Calm the Nervous System (Tonic)
Equal parts of Jatamansi, Shankpushpi, and Brahmi. Take 1⁄2 teaspoon of the combination after meals t.i.d. Vacha (Acorus calamus) can also be added to this combination if easily tolerated by the patient.
Meditation is probably one of the most important self-help techniques employable in the treatment ADD. Meditation will accustom the mind to being calm. In time, the individual will begin to take this calm into all activity, and will replace stress-induced hyperactivity with -composure.
Specifically, chandra bhedna, or the cooling and calming breath, is indicated for ADD. All pranayama techniques will move prana or energy. Chandra bhedna will both increase the availability of prana and provide a neurological calm needed by the body. To perform pranayama, inhale deeply, to your capacity, through the left nostril with the right nostril closed, then exhale as slow as possible through the right nostril with the left nostril closed. Repeat this for a minimum of 10 breaths and gradually increase to a maximum of 5 minutes.
Panchakarma is a very powerful seasonal detoxification and rejuvenating
process that can be extremely useful in the treatment of ADD. It provides not only a cleansing on a cellular level but also deep calm and subsequent access to one’s own being or consciousness. Once this experience of being is accessed and infused into every cell in the body, the body can heal. The vedic concept of Pragya Praradh, “the mistake of the intellect”, wherein the intellect forgets its true reality as a field of consciousness and love, is credited as the cause of all disease. Ayurveda is dedicated to the restoration of this reality.